What is a Balanced Diet?
According to the US Dietary Guidelines, a balanced diet includes a variety of foods from all 5 food groups. It should provide enough calories to ensure a desirable weight and should include all the necessary daily nutrients. For details, see below.
Fig 1. The 5 Basic Food Groups
A Good Combination of Foods for a Balanced Diet
The healthiest combination for a balanced diet is low fat, low refined carb + healthy carbs + moderate protein. For example, as a general rule:
Fig 2. What constitutes a serving
Do you need supplements on a balanced diet?
No. If you lead a relatively normal life and follow a balanced diet, you won't need supplements. However, if you are unable to eat properly, or if you are ill, under stress or in need of extra nutrients, it may be prudent to supplement your diet with a multi-vitamin & mineral tablet. However, this should be a short term measure only. Supplements should not be used as a substitute for a healthy, balanced diet.
How many calories do you need?
To find out your individual calorie needs, click Calorie Guidelines.
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